9 Crucial Things Everyone Should know Before Starting a Small Business
Well, You want to start a business, don’t you? Of course, you do. While starting a business might seem exciting – It is also scary. There are so many twists and turn in the process that it may seem really hard to pursue your passion. But, many people do get past that. Not only did they succeed. But, they also left a little guide for people who want to become entrepreneurs. An efficient guide that addresses the factors you need to consider before starting a small business, in order to minimize the failure that many startups are suffering.
I have to admit, I’m not a stranger to failure. A few of my small start-ups failed miserably a few years ago. But, after multiple trials and errors. I managed to succeed in 2 small businesses that are now generating quite a good source of income for my pocket. But, you know, failure is not an option, it’s part of the road. While a lot of you might have this intense fear of failure. My advice would be to rewire your mindset if you wish to succeed in the future.
Being a newbie in the business industry is like exploring an uncharted island with a blank map. At first, you have no idea where you’re headed and where your journey will lead you. But, as time goes on. You become more experienced and your blank map will soon have markers of the experiences and lessons you have learned. And soon enough, you will master the island.
As I’ve managed to explore my island – of course with the help of my mentors – I have learned a lot of things that I wish I could have known before I started my journey in the business world, before starting a small business of my own. Lessons that could help a newbie, Level-up their entrepreneurial skills and avoid the mistakes that millions of business owners have made. And here they are:
1. Not So Fast, Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet.
Before starting a small business, it’s important to know that quitting your day job won’t rapidly increase the development of your business. On the contrary, it could even put it in danger. Why? In the early stages of a start-up, you will be needing a stable income to support your premature business. But, without a job how can you support it? I’ll give you one short answer, you can’t. However, if your business can produce an income higher than your monthly expenses, only then can you quit your day job and be completely dedicated to your business.
2. Read, Read, and Read!
“A mind needs a book like how a sword needs a whetstone”
This quote was taken from the mind of an extremely wise and intelligent man – Tyrion Lannister, okay you got me. It was a quote from the world famous TV show – The game of thrones. But, do you know what trait resides in the lives of the most successful people on the planet? They read at least 60 books a year. I know that’s a lot, but that’s probably why they’re on a whole different level of living compared to an ordinary person.
3. Get Mentors before starting a small business
One of the biggest mistakes newbies make is pretending to know everything about their business. But, It’s virtually impossible for you to know everything. What you need is – a mentor. Someone who has spent several years in your desired industry, a person who knows the ins and outs of your business. And someone who can help you shape your business for success and at the same time guides you to the right path. This way you can minimize the risk by learning from the past mistakes of your mentors. So, always remember before starting a small business, get mentors that will guide you through your journey.
4. Be An Early Bird
When it comes to time, everyone has the same 24 hours per day cycle. But, not everybody can produce the same results like certain people can. Why? Because while the majority of the people love getting up in the afternoon, especially us – The Millennials. Most successful people actually have their routine of waking up super early like 5:00 in the morning. So they can do more in a day. The result? More productive and rewarding lives.
5. Do It For Your Passion, Not For The Money
Before starting a small business what was your goal? For a business to be completely successful, you must first have the end in mind. Ask yourself, is this really what I’m passionate about? What do I want to achieve from this? Is all of this worth it? It’s easy to start a business, but it’s hard to maintain it if it doesn’t align with your passion. Producing income must only be your second agenda. Achieving your goals should be the primary objective. Finish the mission of your business, because that is the reason why you started it in the first place.
6. Don’t Listen to Negative People
Before starting a small business or any type in particular. There will always be people who will criticize what you do. They will continue to put you down. But, in times like this, it’s important to remember that you cannot please everyone. So, just forget about them and focus on the people that support you. Before starting my very first business – It was a small trading business – Most of my friends actually told me that my ideas were crazy! But, I didn’t listen to their negative remarks. A year after, my business produced a gross income of PHP 400,000.00.
As Injap Sia; the founder of mang inasal and double dragon once said:
” Don’t be afraid if people think your idea is crazy because good things come from crazy ideas.”
7. Choose your partners wisely
Choosing the right partner is crucial before starting a small business as it will decide the development of your business in the years to come. I have witnessed tons of businesses, who crashed because of toxic partnerships. So, as a rule of thumb. I only partner with someone who I can contact with regularly. Why? Because if he/she doesn’t have time to talk to you, then chances are he/she won’t have the time to contribute to the development of your business. In today’s economy, it’s important to have a great business partner, someone who can help you and you can rely on. But, choose wisely. As this decision will either help or destroy your business in the future.
8. Learn Great Leadership skills
At first, you’ll probably suck at being a leader. We all do. But, it’s something that you get better through experience. Read books, attend seminars and get mentors to help you boost your leadership skills. Becoming a great leader is vital before starting a small business. No employee will follow someone who has anxiety issues and doesn’t have a sense of authority. Even though you’re paying them, chances are, their services will suck because of the lack of motivation. A great leader knows how to motivate his/her employees, especially at crucial times.
And # 9; one of the most important factors to avoid. The reason why most entrepreneurs fail at making progress in their business, multi-tasking.
Are you guilty of juggling all your work in one instance, just to minimize work time? Do you enjoy doing several things at once to speed up the process? If so, multitasking is probably one of your strong suits. But, is multitasking really a gift or a curse?
A lot of us believe that “multitasking is great”; it helps us get more work done in such a short time. It is also a general norm, that’s why it’s hard for us to remove it from our daily lives. We regularly multitask! From brushing our teeth while taking a shower to reading a book while we’re eating. Why do we do this? Because it’s already in our culture. We were brought up with the idea that multitasking is a great way to accomplish things. But, we were never taught about the disadvantages of multitasking. And I’ll tell you now, before starting a small business. Never resort to multi-tasking!
A few years ago I was an absolute beast at multitasking. I would do 4-5 things simultaneously with maximum effort to achieve great results. But, at the end of the day. It always took a toll on my body. There were even times when I got sick because of doing so much work. But, that wasn’t the only reason why I decided to stop multitasking. Along with my personal experience, research also shows multiple reasons why multitasking is bad for your health and your business.
1. The quality of work always suffer
When you’re too busy with so many things you forget to pay attention to details. And that is crucial in everything you do. For example: Cooking a cake is easy, but cooking a cake while doing 3 other things could lead to a disaster. You could mess up the ingredients, you could forget about the proper cooking process and ultimately destroy the cake. The thing is, you will always end up on the wrong end if you continue to do everything at the same time. It’s the same before starting a small business. If you choose to juggle all the tasks at once, by yourself. There is a high chance that a lot of things will go wrong.
2. Your focus will be limited
What happens when you divide your focus to several things at once? It ends up being insufficient. For one thing, to be completely successful, it needs your undivided attention and focus. You can’t expect to build a big-time international business when currently your attention is divided into multiple small time businesses. If you want to build an empire. Before starting a small business, you have to quit multitasking and apply the power of focus!
3. Reduced productivity
Yes, you heard it right. As ironic as it sounds, multitasking does restrict us from producing more results. How? Well, the human brain can’t simply juggle several things at once. So, by attempting to multitask, we’re simply hurting our brain and blocking its capacity to work. Thus, reducing our productivity. My advice would be to just focus on one task and give you 120% effort in accomplishing it.
But, how can I maximize my productivity without multitasking?
The answer is simple. Preparation! Before starting a small business, you need to prepare! prepare! prepare! And here are my 3 tips for you to increase your productivity and achieve amazing results without having to multitask:
How to maximize your productivity minus multitasking
Tip # 1: Set your work on a 90-minute interval
There are tons of research out there that supports the idea of a 90-minute work interval. It is the optimum amount of time a person can work where he/she can be highly productive. Exceeding this time frame will not only decrease your productivity, it will also result in physiological fatigue.
Tip # 2: Plan your day
This is probably a general knowledge. Before starting a small business, it needs a business plan. The same goes before starting your day, you need a plan. Most successful people already have their day planned out even before they wake up, they know what to do and when to do it. This way, they maintained their stress levels and are more likely to produce positive results than those who don’t bother to organize their activities. So, get a planner and plan for tomorrow!
Tip # 3: Take regular breaks
You don’t have to push yourself too hard in order to achieve amazing results. In fact, pushing yourself beyond your limits will actually give you the opposite results. It’s ideal to take a break, relax your mind and your body. That way you can focus more on the given task.
Tip # 4: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You can’t always do everything on your own. So, ask for assistance. Not only does it ease your work, it also increases your productivity and raises the chance of a better outcome. Just choose the right helper, otherwise, it could bring more harm than good. Besides, before starting a small business, it’s important to think about partnerships and hiring employees to make the business more manageable and productive.
Tip # 5: Sleep early to get up early
Starting your day in the morning will surely help you be more productive for the rest of the day. More time, more energy and of course more focus. We are more engaged and motivated in the morning because there are fewer distractions in the surroundings. Thus, making us more focused on getting things done.
You don’t need to multitask in order to get things done. It’s better to do one thing at a time but with great focus. That way you can produce maximum effort and quality results. Besides, multitasking is bad for our brain. You’ll just be punishing yourself by doing several things simultaneously.
Surely there are a lot of things you need to know before starting a small business. But, what I’ve discussed here are the basics – The most important steps you should consider before starting your entrepreneurial journey. Although, I would highly advise to seek and read books about business and entrepreneurship to further improve your knowledge. As the saying goes, “Learning does not end.”